The Relay

by Mo Floyd, director of security

As we go through any portion of life we do not go through it alone. Others are placed along our paths to help us continue to succeed and be blessed. These others we know as parents and family members, teachers, professors, clergy, coaches, friends, etc. At each stage in our lives these others pick us up when we fall, point us in the right direction, love us and encourage us, and stand by us no matter what. These people we learn to depend on and trust.

Success, however, is not just about the others in our lives. Each of us has a part to play that includes hard work, determination, failing yet trying again, practicing and refusing to give up. There are more but I think you get the picture. Your success, and mine, depends on each of us doing our part.

To illustrate I have included a picture showing a me as a 16 year-old running the 4X200 relay, also known as the 880 relay (as in 880 yards – we didn’t run meters back then), in high school. Yes, that is long hair I am sporting along with long socks and short shorts. It was the 70s – c’mon! The picture shows me at the end of the first leg of the relay and you can see the results of the effort I put in before the race. I always started because I was the fastest coming out of the starting blocks, but that took practice and coaching. In the picture you can tell I have already beaten the other runner and that required hard work and determination. What you don’t see is what is about to happen. I am getting ready to pass the baton to the next runner and this required practice, cooperation and trust.

Once the baton had been passed my part wasn’t over. I still cheered and encouraged from the side of the track and displayed my trust in the other three runners on the relay team. I didn’t just walk away from the others and when we won I didn’t say, “Hey, look what I did.” The victories in the 4X200 were always an “us” thing and I was only one fourth of the “us”.

So let me borrow this metaphor and say that you as a Newman student are currently in your own relay. Look around and acknowledge who your other teammates are. Learn to trust them, listen to them and cooperate with them. As an individual you must practice (study) to improve yourself – no one else can do that for you. Your teachers become your coaches so let them instruct you. Your family becomes your teammates so let them encourage you. Once you succeed continue to cheer the others that are still running the race.

When the day comes and you are holding your diploma in your hand it may be tempting to say, “Hey, look what I did!” But if you look back through the years and remember those who helped get you there, your relay “teammates”, maybe you should say, “Hey, look what we did!”

Blessings.

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